The Beverage of Champions
An abundant dietary source of nitrate, beetroot, in juice form, is fast becoming a beverage of competitive athletes.
Previously, studies report that dietary nitrate (NO3−) increases skeletal muscle function during exercise. David Poole, from Kansas State University (Kansas, USA), and colleagues report that beetroot juice increases blood flow to the skeletal muscles during exercise by 38%, and was preferential to the less-oxygenated, fast-twitch muscles. Observing that: “[dietary nitrate] supplementation via [beetroot juice] improves metabolic control in fast twitch muscle,” the study authors conclude that: “These data therefore provide a putative mechanism for the [beetroot juice] -induced improvements in high-intensity exercise performance seen in humans.”
Scott K. Ferguson, Clark T. Holdsworth, Jennifer L. Wright, Alex J. Fees, Jason D. Allen, David C. Poole, et al. “Microvascular oxygen pressures in muscles comprised of different fiber types: Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation.” Journal of Nitric Oxide, Biology and Chemistry, 2 October 2014.